Essay Map

About this printout

Use this graphic organizer to develop an outline for an essay that includes an introductory statement, main ideas, supporting details, and a conclusion.

Teaching with this printout

More ideas to try, related resources.

Expository writing can be challenging for students, yet it is an important skill for them to develop and eventually master. Often, the most difficult aspects of writing an essay are getting started and maintaining an organized focus while drafting the essay. This Essay Map helps students with those challenges by providing them with an organized format that will help them generate and outline their ideas. When you introduce this graphic organizer to your students, model its use by creating an essay of a topic that is very familiar to students. Using a projector so students can watch, fill in the Essay Map as you brainstorm ideas. Then, show students how to use your completed Essay Map to generate a rough draft of an essay.

  • If this is a new tool for your students, consider having them fill in the Essay Map on a relatively simple topic. Topic ideas such as “All About Me” or “My Favorite Movies” will help students successfully create an essay because of the high level of background knowledge on these topics. Give older students a more challenging first topic that requires some basic research about something or someone close to them. For example, have them interview an elderly family member to compare and contrast life as a teen today versus life as a teen in the past.
  • Prior to assigning them independent work, have students work in small groups to fill in an Essay Map together. Peer interaction will help generate ideas and provide opportunities for discussing the use of the tool. As they work, circulate among groups to check for correct placement of main ideas and supporting details. If you see a detail that is incorrectly placed on the Essay Map, ask guiding questions to help students make adjustments, such as, “I see that you put this supporting detail with this main idea. Can you tell me why you think it would fit there? Is there a better place that you could place it?” When groups have completed their Essay Maps, discuss them, comparing and contrasting the choice and placement of main ideas and details.
  • Use Essay Maps that were completed by students to create a class-generated essay. Begin by assigning a single topic to the class. Topics for younger or less advanced students might include, “A Description of Our School,” “Field Trip Ideas for Our Class,” and “Things to Do in Our Town/City.” Topics for older or advanced students can be generated from the content areas and might require research. Ask students to fill in the Essay Map either individually or in groups. After students have completed their Essay Maps, project a blank paper or digital document so that all students can view as you collaboratively create a class essay, working through each paragraph of the essay, soliciting suggestions from students’ Essay Maps, and explaining how the Essay Map serves as a guide in the creation of an essay.
  • Strategy Guides
  • Lesson Plans

This strategy guide explains the writing process and offers practical methods for applying it in your classroom to help students become proficient writers.

While drafting a literary analysis essay (or another type of argument) of their own, students work in pairs to investigate advice for writing conclusions and to analyze conclusions of sample essays. They then draft two conclusions for their essay, select one, and reflect on what they have learned through the process.

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How To Write an IELTS Map Essay

IELTS map questions are the easiest to answer. There are no numbers to analyse, just 2 or 3 maps to compare. Very occasionally, there might only be a single map, but this is rare.

The maps will be of the same location at different times. This could be in the past, the present time or a plan for a proposed development in the future. You are required to write about the changes you see between the maps.

There are 5 steps to writing   a high-scoring IELTS map essay:

1)  Analyse the question

2)  Identify the main features

3)  Write an introduction

4)  Write an overview

5)  Write the details paragraphs

I must emphasise the importance of steps 1 and 2. It is essential that you complete this planning stage properly before you start writing. You’ll understand why when I guide you through it. It should only take 5 minutes, leaving you a full 15 minute to write your essay.

In this lesson, we’re going to work through the 5 stages step-by-step as we answer a practice IELTS map question.

Before we begin, here’s a model essay structure that you can use as a guideline for all IELTS Academic Task 1 questions.

Ideally, your essay should have 4 paragraphs:

Paragraph 1  – Introduction

Paragraph 2  – Overview

Paragraph 3  – 1 st  main feature

Paragraph 4  – 2 nd  main feature

We now have everything we need to begin planning and writing our IELTS map essay.

Here’s our practice question:

The maps below show the village of Stokeford in 1930 and 2010.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

writing essay map

Step 1 –  Analyse the question

The format of every Academic Task 1 question is the same. Here is our practice question again with the words that will be included in all questions highlighted.

Every question consists of:

  • Sentence 1 – A brief description of the graphic
  • Sentence 2 – The instructions
  • The graphic – map, chart, graph, table, etc.

Sentence 2 tells you what you have to do.

You must do 3 things:

1.     Select the main features.

2.     Write about the main features.

3.     Compare the main features.

All three tasks refer to the ‘ main features ’ of the graphic. You  do not  have to write about everything. Just pick out 2 or 3 key features and you’ll have plenty to write about.

Step 2 – Identify the Main Features

All you are looking for are the main features. Start with the earliest map. Identify the key features and look to see how they have changed in the later map, and again in the final map if there are three.

Here are some useful questions to ask?

1) What time periods are shown?

Are the maps of past, present or future situations? This is important to note because it will determine whether you write your essay using past, present or future tenses.

The two maps in our practice IELTS map question show the village of Stokeford at two different times in the past. This immediately tells us that we will need to use the past tense in our essay.

2) What are the main differences between the maps?

What features have disappeared? What new features are in their place?

3) What features have remained the same over the time period?

Although the location on the maps will have undergone major development, some features may remain unchanged.

Also, think about directional language you can use, such as:

So,  what information is contained our maps? Here they are again.

writing essay map

Source: IELTS past paper

There are a number of different features we could select such as, the loss of the shops, the disappearance of farmland, the enlargement of the school and the development of the large house into a retirement home.

Many maps will contain far more changes than our sample maps and the changes may be more complex. In such cases, you won’t have time to write about all of them and will need to select just 2 or 3 main features to focus on.

Our maps are quite simple so we’ll list all 4 of the major changes I’ve just identified. 

Main feature 1:  The farmland has been built on.

Main feature 2:  The large house has been converted into a retirement home.

Main feature 3:  The school has been enlarged.

Main feature 4:  The shops have disappeared.

The key features you select will be the starting point for your IELTS map essay. You will then go on to add more detail later. However, with just 20 minutes allowed for Task 1, and a requirement of only 150 words, you won't be able to include many details.

We’re now ready to begin writing our essay. Here’s a reminder of the 4 part structure we’re going to use.

For this essay, we’ll adapt this a little to write about two of the features in Paragraph 3 and the other two features in Paragraph 4.

Step 3 – Write an Introduction 

In the introduction, you should simply paraphrase the question, that is, say the same thing in a different way. You can do this by using synonyms and changing the sentence structure. For example:

Introduction (Paragraph 1): 

The two maps illustrate how the village of Stokeford, situated on the east bank of the River Stoke, changed over an 80 year period from 1930 to 2010.

This is all you need to do for the introduction.

Step 4 – Write an Overview (Paragraph 2)

In the second paragraph, you should describe the general changes that have taken place. The detail comes later in the essay.

State the information simply. No elaborate vocabulary or grammar structures are required, just the appropriate words and correct verb tenses.

For example:

Overview  (Paragraph 2): 

There was considerable development of the settlement over these years and it was gradually transformed from a small rural village into a largely residential area.

Two sentences would be better than one for the second paragraph but we’ll be getting into the detail if we say more about these maps at this point, so we’ll leave the overview as one sentence.

Step 5  – Write the 1st Detail Paragraph

Paragraphs 3 and 4 of your IELTS map essay are where you include more detailed information. In paragraph 3, you should give evidence to support your first 1or 2 key features.

In the case of our main features, 1 and 3 are closely related so we’ll write about these two together.

Here they are again:

And this is an example of what you could write:

Paragraph 3 :

The most notable change is the presence of housing in 2010 on the areas that were farmland back in 1930. New roads were constructed on this land and many residential properties built. In response to the considerable increase in population, the primary school was extended to around double the size of the previous building.

Step 6  – Write the 2nd Detail Paragraph

For the fourth and final paragraph, you do the same thing for your remaining key features. 

Here are the two we have left:

This is an example of what you could write:

Paragraph 4 :

Whilst the post office remained as a village amenity, the two shops that can be seen to the north-west of the school in 1930, no longer existed by 2010, having been replaced by houses. There also used to be an extensive property standing in its own large gardens situated to the south-east of the school. At some time between 1930 and 2010, this was extended and converted into a retirement home. This was another significant transformation for the village.

Here are the four paragraphs brought together to create our finished essay.

Finished IELTS Map Essay

writing essay map

This sample IELTS map essay is well over the minimum word limit so you can see that you don’t have space to include very much detail at all. That’s why it is essential to select just a couple of main features to write about.

Now use what you’ve learnt in this lesson to practice answering other IELTS map  questions. Start slowly at first and keep practicing until you can plan and write a complete essay in around 20 minutes.

Want  to watch and listen to this lesson?

Click on this video.

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Ielts academic writing task 1 – all lessons.

IELTS Academic Writing  –  A summary of the test including important facts, test format & assessment.

Academic Writing Task 1  – The format, the 7 question types & sample questions, assessment & marking criteria.  All the key information you need to know.

Understanding Task 1 Questions  – How to quickly and easily analyse and understand IELTS Writing Task 2 questions.

How To Plan a Task 1 Essay  –  Discover  3 reasons why you must plan, the 4 simple steps of essay planning and learn a simple 4 part essay structure.

Vocabulary for Task 1 Essays  –  Learn key vocabulary for a high-scoring essay. Word lists & a downloadable PDF.

Grammar for Task 1 Essays   – Essential grammar for Task 1 Academic essays including, verb tenses, key sentence structures, articles & prepositions.

The 7 Question Types:

Click the links below for a step-by-step lesson on each type of Task 1 question.

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  • IELTS Maps Essays
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Essay Mapping Tool


Effective writing at university is a process:

Analyse the task → Gather content → Plan → Draft → Edit

This tool may help you to bridge from planning to drafting by helping you arrange your sentences in a logical order. It also provides tips for each component of an essay – the introduction, body, and conclusion. It can be used to improve your understanding of essay writing in general or as a planning tool for one of your university assignments.

Because this tool is for your personal use only, you may decide to write in bullet points, but we recommend full sentences. Once you have filled in each section, a complete essay overview will be generated which can be printed.

1. Introduction

Three paragraphs planning spaces have been provided for you. You can add or delete as necessary.

The purpose of the body is to logically develop the points made in your thesis and outline statements. There are no rules about the number of paragraphs required in assignment, but in general, you are advised to develop one idea per paragraph. This is done with a clear and coherent structure which introduces the topic in a topic sentence, defines or clarifies which aspect of the topic you are going to discuss, develops and supports your discussion and (optionally) concludes your discussion.

A topic sentence generally has two parts. You may refer to the overall essay topic and also introduce the specific aspect you plan to discuss in this paragraph. This is referred to as topic + controlling idea . You can also use a topic sentence to link to or contrast with the previous paragraph. This is an effective strategy to use with the second body paragraph onwards. You may choose to conclude the paragraph with a summary sentence; however, you are advised not to overuse this type of sentence as it may seem repetitious.

Cohesion and coherence refer to how effectively sentences are connected and how smoothly the writing flows. This is not simply achieved by following a logical paragraph structure, but also by using linking words (e.g. however/furthermore/consequently ) and referring words (e.g. this/that/these/those )

When you develop your argument, remember to use a range of support. You can use examples, logical reasoning, speculation, statistics and citations

Paragraph 1

Write the topic and controlling idea (one sentence).

Support your controlling idea using evidence, examples, elaboration or explanations. Do not go off topic. Do use in-text references.

Sum up the paragraph and link to your thesis OR link to the next paragraph (one sentence).

Paragraph 2

Paragraph 3, 3. conclusion.

The purpose of the conclusion is to summarize the key points you have discussed; however, it often contains a paraphrase of the thesis statement. This helps link the whole essay together. A conclusion may also contain a statement which links the essay to the broader topic or suggests a future action.

You can begin with the phrase ' In conclusion, ' but there are other phrases you could consider: In summary/This assignment has…/In this essay, I have… . Avoid Finally/Briefly/

Remember to reference any sources you have used. Refer to CDU Library for more information on referencing.


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writing essay map


writing essay map

  • Paragraph Types (Essay Seeds)
  • Tutorial - Reason Paragraph
  • Reason Paragraph
  • Tutorial - Cause-and-Effect
  • Cause-Effect Paragraph
  • Tutorial - Compare and Contrast
  • Similarities
  • Differences
  • Tutorial - Presuasive (Argument) Paragraph
  • Citations: In-Text and References Page
  • Plagiarism Checker

writing essay map

writing essay map

What is an Essay Map?

Eric Ward

Table of Contents

Writing many essays is an integral part of learning. For this, the student should know a lot of nuances. Especially useful is knowledge of essay map. It allows the author to adhere to the logical sequence of his work and to follow a certain desired structure. Compliance with a particularly defined outline when creating labor is a final requirement. Its performance will help the student convincingly bring his thoughts, and the teacher will give benchmarks for objective evaluation.

Some learners can ask “what is an essay map”? It does not require any additional knowledge. It’s like a plan for your own work. You depict a certain scheme on paper before writing a job. It helps to maintain the correct logical sequence and serves as a hint. You should start with the introduction, and then go to the thoughts, ideas, arguments that will reveal the problem. The conclusion is the final point in this scheme. It combines all parts of the text into a single whole.

While working, you should not forget that the previously compiled map has structure regarding the information of your composition. It contains specific data about the content of each semantic part of the text. You view and write the essay through it.

Essay Map Example

If you want to write a good essay, speech, novel, or a simple sketch, then you need to make an outline. Without this important stage, the final text will be chaotic, not thought over, and the main idea will be “walk around.” You can look at the essay map template. This is a schematically recorded set of short-formulated thoughts-headers, the basis of the work. You can logically convey the content of your composition based on the scheme of construction.

The main body may vary: either you may submit all arguments at once (at least two), or one by one, indicating after each example. All elements of the structure should have a logical connection: the arguments prove the thesis; examples confirm the correctness of the reasons. This means that when you put forward two theses, you must argue each of them with two proofs and each one should take the essay map sample. It is easily confused here. You must try to express your thoughts clearly and succinctly.

The student should know that when assessing the structure of his work, the teacher will pay attention to the following points: the presence of all the named elements of the structure, their connection (the thesis correspond to the arguments, examples, and conclusion) and the use of special words and expressions needed for each part of the text. This means that when assessing the thesis, the teacher will take into account the following:

  • There is a thesis.
  • It is located at the beginning of the work.
  • It is formulated clearly.
  • It has designs that express its own opinions.

Samples give you some idea. You can start drawing a map after you know exactly what you want to say in your text. You need to think about the introduction and conclusion.

7 Reasons You Need an Essay Map

Students consider the creation of a map for an essay to be unimportant and unnecessary. This is a false assertion since such a scheme helps to write a work itself faster, laconic, easier and logical. A student is able to follow the correct order of thought.

Based on the essay map definition it’s momentous for the organization of mental labor, for the development of skills of clear wording and the ability to write a logical composition. The diagrams represent the relationship of the provisions. There are many reasons you need to perform this project.

  • Referring to the map, you do not just think about certain material, but deeply comprehend it, determine the main and secondary.
  • You have integrated (generalized) the main points of several sources, so that the thoughts, set out in several works, in your text sound more voluminous, fuller, more convincing.
  • You make the presentation of the material accessible, original, and stylistically colored. The map helps you in revealing the topic in a logical sequence.
  • Looking at the structure you find a wide selection of illustrative material. You can pick out the most striking examples from several sources that are the most revealing theme, indicating your awareness, preparation, world outlook.
  • Essay map serves to reveal the topic in the correct sequence. You will be able to view other works (by comparing the views of various authors, you can express your own opinion) and still do not forget about what you write.
  • You’ll be able to understand the logic in the construction of the assignment. You have the opportunity to think through the introduction, which should be brought to the thesis. You plan to labor in a qualitative way thanks to the created scheme.
  • Sentences and single words can serve as supports in map. It may look like a set of words and statements that are practically unrelated to each other. It is completely understandable to the author and serves to improve the logic and consistency of the essay.

Create an Essay Map in 5 Steps

The drawing up of any map begins with an understanding of the topic and the answer to the question of what I want to say in my work or how can I logically link it. It is important for a student to know several basic tools to create essay map pdf online.

  • Draw on the main theses that should be reflected in your text on the draft.
  • Remember that not all of the material will be reflected in your assignment: select the most interesting and important.
  • The deliberation of the pre-drawn map defines such momentous things as the sequence of presentation of thoughts in the text and the logical connection between its parts.
  • Do not be afraid to use auxiliary materials. This does not mean that you can simply write off everything from the Internet. But you can look at variants of essay map example on a similar topic and take some ideas for a note.
  • When drawing up the scheme, use short and simple sentences. The main thing is that the items accurately reflect your point of view.

Any text consists of three main parts. The author can pick titles to each of them. He also has the opportunity to add them with his notes-explanations. The writer can much easier to write the text without losing the logical connection between the parts. When he re-reads the map, he may remember more important details. He can add them to the text, so the result will be complemented and more detailed. The scheme allows in a very brief form to reflect the theme of the work, often its main idea. It must comply with the content, be concise, unequivocal and consistent.

Need Help with an Essay Map?

You may need making a map for the text not only during training. In the future, the ability to properly make it can be useful throughout life. It does not have to be an essay plan . It is compiled for speaking before an audience by teachers, scientists, speakers. In any work, his compilation can play an important role, so we learn this skill, starting from school.

To ensure the logic of the presentation, the student must clearly identify with the model of the composition, after which he will expand the thought, and visually (or inscriptions) to indicate these elements on the visual essay map before the beginning of writing his own statement. Not everyone has such a tendency to construct a plan.

We offer our assistance in creating not only the scheme but also the essay or any other assignment. Our specialists will be able to identify ways in which you can develop your mind. As points of the scheme, we use the phrase itself, because they carry information in abridged, collapsed form while representing semantic unity. You must uncover these phrases and expand them in your labor.

Effective Essay Map Help 24/7

We will do a map with the logical fragments. Each of them will be equal to one paragraph or several. We are able to make the right structure. If there is not enough time you should not worry. Our writers performed such a task many times. They adhere to the deadline and the requirements of your teachers. We give you guarantees regarding the quality of a unique assignment.

Sometimes the same idea can be mistakenly formulated in other words. Thus, the plan will be drawn up incorrectly and most likely working with it will lead to confusion. We do not allow this in our work. Our writers are able to create a map that corresponds to the main theme of the text. It is logical for creating a narration. The sequence of points is not confused. When we write this project, we check it several times in order to avoid any errors. If you have problems and you need help with an essay map you can trust our service and our writers.

We can write your paper for you.

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